As part of the ‘Summer of Video’ at On Stage Lighting, we present a short tutorial on a cheap and simple DMX lighting control system that integrates the free LX Console software with QLab 3 using OSC as a cue trigger.
Smaller venues, churches and schools have a growing requirement for complex sound and video playback along with their stage lighting control needs. Quite a few turn to QLab 3 to provide a feature-rich and centralised software solution for the audio and vision elements. The next question is then if QLab can by used to control lighting. At the moment, QLab 3 will not send the DMX signal required to run a lighting system directly.
One solution is to run some DMX lighting control software on the same Mac as QLab and to use a trigger such as MIDI Show Control (MSC) or Open Sound Control (OSC). These protocols can be used to trigger an external lighting desk too, but if you don’t have access to a real desk then the all-software solution might be for you.
What You Will Need
Mac running QLab 3 with a non-free version licence (the Basic audio, for example) which is needed to use OSC triggers. Remember that you can rent QLab licences by the day for a few bucks.
DMX Hardware (to output DMX from the Mac running LX Console). Products such as the Enttec Pro DMX USB or an ArtNet node will work. For example:
Setting Up Qlab 3 to LX Console via OSC
The basic setup is to create a lighting cue stack in LX Console and get the DMX output working. You then connect the OSC path using the loopback address and add the OSC trigger cues. The video also describes the use of a handy Applescript to import the cues directly from LX Console.
Enjoy the video tutorial and let us know in the comments if you have used QLab to control lighting or plan to use it in future. Cheers.